A review by sonofhum3
Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth


If there were half stars, I'd give this book a 3.5/5.

Other than being a Veronica Roth stan who will preorder basically anything she puts out without question, the premise of this book really intrigued me. Having read lots of YA dystopian fiction, dealing with the fall-out of having been the "chosen one" who saved the world as a teenager piqued my interest, and it was done well in this book. The protagonist, Sloane, deals with lots of PTSD and a deep sense of being lost. Everything in her life revolves around a thing she did as a teenager and there's not a lot she can do to change that.

What I have to say is this story was s l o w. I think part of the issue is that Roth, in essence, had to build three separate worlds in one book. She had convey the things that happened to the Chosen Ones as teenagers (essentially an entire book on its own), then establish their Earth as 20-somethings, and finally she had to flesh out the world of Genetrix. That's a lot to tackle, and each of the 3 sections kind of feels like a separate book. While her usage of articles, book excerpts, and top-secret documents to do a bit of exposition was helpful and interesting, it couldn't do all the work and it made for a slow, plodding 200 pages that felt a bit like wading through mud at points.

Part three is where the book really starts to pick up, and I'll agree with other reviewers in that it feels very much like any YA novel. That being said, I'm a sucker for YA so I totally ate it up. If it weren't for the last third. The end also answered a lot of questions, and tied up all the strings that I felt were left hanging earlier. There were plot twists that I saw coming, but didn't correctly predict which was great. The world is complex and in-depth; just maybe a little too in-depth to tackle in a single book.

Sloane and Albie were by far my two favorite Chosen Ones, so it didn't surprise me much when Albie died. My favorite characters tend to die because they're Too Pure, and it's those characters that always get sacrificed. RIP me, and also all of my favorite characters for the past 10 years. Sloane is abrasive, aggressive, and a bit unpleasant, but in a way that makes you feel for her. She's pretty typical of all of Roth's protagonists in that way. Not much of a deviation there.

Ines feels like a bit of a waste of time and energy, since she's absent for most of the book. It also sucks that the one LGBTQ+ character gets left out, because inclusivity is something Roth is usually pretty good at. Matt and Esther are both a bit vapid, but in a way that almost makes sense for the book. All the chosen ones are tied together by a shared experience that only they can relate to, but that doesn't mean they'd be super BFFs otherwise.

Mox is the character I was most interested by from the beginning. The second you meet him he has that air of You're-Gonna-Fall-In-Love-With-Me but I'm not upset about it. The reveal of him as the Resurrectionist made me think "I should have seen that coming" but I didn't. I then immediately texted my best friend and said "UH OH THE BAD GUY IS REALLY SEXY." That was before he wasn't the bad guy. Another plot twist (maybe not a twist. Let's call it a turn) that I was a-okay with. I love a Hot Praying Mantis with baggage, sue me.


All in all, I'm happy I didn't abandon this book at the beginning. I can see myself reading it again in the future and being much less bogged-down by the details since I'll know the lore already. Not the best I've seen out of Veronica, but it's okay girl, I'm still gonna buy all your books.